On June 24, 2020, Publish What You Fund, a global campaign for assistance and development transparency, released the findings of the 2020 Aid Transparency Index. The index monitors and assesses development assistance donors’ progress towards transparency, aiming to improve the efficacy of development assistance and the quality of related information that donors make available.
The 2020 Aid Transparency Index reveals significant improvements in donors’ overall transparency compared to 2018, with over half of the 47 assessed donors now ranked as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Among the top-ranking donors are the World Bank, UNDP, UNICEF, the Global Fund, Canada, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. While Germany and Sweden are ranked as ‘good’, the transparency performance of France, Norway, Australia, Spain, Australia, and Italy, among others, is only rated as ‘fair’. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Arab Emirate’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as China’s Ministry of Commerce have some of the lowest scores.
According to Publish What You Fund, the overall improvement is due to the fact that many donors increasingly publish both more and higher quality data in the International Aid Initiative (IATI) Standard, making the data more easily accessible, comparable, and better centralized.
However, the report highlights gaps when it comes to the publication of project outcomes; only a minority of donors share information on project performances and evaluations which limits the ability of stakeholders to gauge the effectiveness and value of development assistance spending.
To further improve development assistance data, Publish What You Fund provided a range of recommendations to donor countries, among them sharing wider information of project results, publishing project budget documents, and increasing the engagement with stakeholders of partner countries to build trust and share information on available data.